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This post was guest blogged by Dan Tanner of dan-ruth-tanner.com

I’ve just read an excellent article by Miss Laurelle JnoBaptiste over at The Dominican – another Web site devoted to news about Dominica. The article provokes the following thoughts from me.The reader should know this about me: My wife and I are white Americans. Her family’s history in America dates back to 1620, while I am the American-born child of immigrants. We are in our 60s and retired. We have been coming to Dominica since 1987 and four years ago we bought a small plot of land and have built a home there. We will retire to live in that home later this year. My background is as a scientist, and I had been active in the civil rights and anti-war movements in the US.

Ms. JnoBaptiste wrote

Because Dominica was, and continues to be, a very patriarchal society, I understood that my job options would be limited to clerical roles such as those performed by a bank teller, or a teacher.

My thought on that is that it’s very regrettable that Dominica apparently does not offer women the same rights it does to men. Unfortunately, that is the case in many societies, often bolstered by some basis in religious teaching or doctrine. We have one child, a daughter, and were adamant in ensuring that she was allowed to fulfill her potential. Alas, we couldn’t always get that result, but she’s come pretty close.

She also wrote

Consequently, I, along with the majority of others, associated the priest with the image of Jesus Christ – and that made him a superior being. By extension, anyone who looked like the priest and Jesus Christ were considered superior beings.

My reaction is that I continue to be amazed that so many victims of religious education think that Jesus would have looked European. He was a Jewish carpenter and would lave looked Semitic; with a fairly dark complexion and hair and brown eyes, not light-skinned with light hair and blue eyes. Not that it matters – religion is nonsense and stifles inquiry and knowledge into anything that challenges its made-up doctrines.

She also wrote that

the education and socialization that I received in Dominica prepared me to take my place in a global society where my history and ancestors are viewed as second class to that of the Anglo Saxon or European history and ancestry.

Yes, racism exists and is often still practiced. However, racism is also a cover-up for exclusion based on economic or other privilege. It exists in every society, and is not peculiar to the Black/Anglo-Saxon relationship. In Vietnam, the lighter-skinned general population discriminated against the darker-skinned minority people from the hill country. In India, the skin-color caste system is still a horror and a scourge. I can only hope that people of all color will stop and think about what’s inside others – their character – before making false judgments based on skin color.

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50 Comments »

Comment by boldface dominican Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-12 19:39:34

Problem with education in Dominica refers back to the continuous cycle of many educated, but selfish Dominicans who further their education in the rest of the world and never return to their country and invest in its future. But one would fine that they are the first people to complain about Dominica.

To you Mr Tanner from the USA, please remember that this island is predominantly Christian Catholics, Adventist etc..We do believe in God. I believe knowledge makes one better able to read the bible or be religious and be able to sieve through what’s good and what’s bad.

As for racism I agree with you, its everywhere.

Comment by Dan
2008-02-14 18:53:15

The bible has some good things, such as the “Golden Rule”.

But it is full of errors (such as giving the ratio of a circumference to a diameter as 3). You don’t even have to challenge the bible for errors based on outside knowledge. The book of Genesis gives two different creation accounts (and neither creates the sun before creating light!) and two gospels in the new testament give different numbers of generations and different names in recounting the ancestry of Jesus.

If you believe “every word in the bible” how can you deal with the bible’s own contradictions, let alone its nonsense such the wrong value for pi, the existence of witches, etc?

In my experience, those who claim to believe in the bible absolutely have not read it.

I have a younger sister named Naomi. A friend’s mother claimed to have read and memorized the bible. She told me that Naomi was “an Indian name, and not a name in the bible”. I told her that she was named after Naomi in the book of Ruth, but she denied that there was any such name in the bible. The simple fact was that she was either illiterate or had not read the bible as she claimed.

 
Comment by Dan
2010-04-01 11:45:25

1. There can be good without God.
2. If evangelists can try to get others to believe, don’t atheists have a right to try and convince people not to?

 
 
Comment by Heather
2008-02-13 21:43:26

I unlike Ms. JnoBaptiste, did not experience this form of education in Dominica. I was raised by two strong and well educated parents both trained in Europe, United States and Canada.

I am currently living in North America and I have pursued a path where there are not many females, far less Afro-Caribbean females.

At the high school level in Dominica, I took CXC history and focused on African history and the slave trade, my history teacher (exceptional) did not bestow on us this notion that Anglo-Saxons were better than us. As a result I did not suffer from any inferiority complex.

We have to take Ms. JnoBaptiste’s account as a personal one and not the norm in Dominica.

I attended a Catholic high school and I am Catholic. I also agree that there is racism in the world but we should not let that affect our view of our world and our ‘place’ in it.

Comment by Dan
2008-02-14 18:54:35

She was educated in Dominica and you were not, so I think that her experience is more representative of what’s typical.

Comment by Heather
2008-02-14 23:52:15

I was educated in Dominica. Just like her, I left Dominica after the CDCC (Clifton Dupigny Community College) to pursue my Bachelor’s degree in North America.

We went to different high schools but the same college. We obviously had different experiences in Dominica. Most of my friends with whom I attended high school and college in Dominica did not identify with her story.

 
 
 
Comment by boldface dominican Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-14 20:54:25

no one said the bible is the honest truth, I don’t hold the bible like it is golden . Man wrote the bible and even though we would like to believe that everything in it is what god wants it is not. But my point is don’t try to persuade people that it is almost wrong to believe in god and be religious.

Comment by Dan
2010-04-01 11:47:07

Why not? Evangelists are always preaching. Atheists should have equal rights.

 
 
Comment by Dan
2008-02-14 22:45:01

I think that it’s marvelous that you recognize that men wrote the bible. Men create their own gods too. All sorts of religions have their “sacred” books, each contending that they were written by the one “true” god.

I find it amazing that so many people who are descended from those who were kidnapped and enslaved embrace the religion of the slave-masters. They did the same when the ancient Greeks and later the Romans enslaved them, and those were different gods.

As far as I’m concerned, as long as people respect one another, I don’t care what they believe, or that they understand that I have no belief in anything supernatural at all.

 
Comment by boldface dominican Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-15 00:45:26

its not marvelous for me mr tanner that i recognize that man wrote the bible. I think only idiots would think otherwise. its okay for people to have a religion and for others to respect that they do. What not okay is for others to try to tell them that their beliefs are not warranted. religion of slave masters? mmmh …well why should i listen to you?, when you are white man a descendant of people who enslaved blacks like me. I should not believe or make my own presumptions even if it came from whites like you who enslaved my ancestors. I do everyday I seat in American classes listening and sieving through what’s good and what’s bad. A place where one is continously brainwashed to believe in the so called American Dream. Where you are only taught how to continue to lie to get ahead in business. I don’t mean to get to nasty here, but it is wrong for you to tell someone that their beliefs are not warranted, even if it came from your ancestors who enslaved blacks like me. I’m taught by white people whole day all day, in the end I know that its their belief and I take whatever is necessary for me to form my own. I believe in god and many Dominicans do. Many of us pray and celebrate his name in our own way. The clues are there, god is not a religion of people who enslaved us. Today we still continuosly enslaved by people using the past to get us to believe what they want.

 
Comment by Dan
2008-02-15 10:29:25

My ancestors did not enslave anyone. My ancestors were themselves enslaved. And later, many of the people I come from, including many in my family, were murdered by the descendants of the slave-masters. You see, I am descended from Jews, who were enslaved by Africans (in Egypt), by Middle-Easterners (in Babylonia, now called Iraq), and murdered by nazis (in Germany and European lands the nazis held).

There are idiots and charlatans in the US who go around preaching that the bible is the literal word of god. In a Republican presidential candidate debate recently an Internet caller held up a bible and demanded to know if the candidates “believed every word in it”. They outdid one another to claim they did. That is despite the fact that our Constitution states that “there shall be no religious test to hold office in the United States” and despite the fact that in the US all beliefs (including no belief) are supposed to be equal, tolerated, and nobody’s business other than one’s own. Money has corrupted our system, and the American dream, other than the potential to get rich (if you’re willing to lie, cheat, and steal from others), is pretty much dead.

 
Comment by Dan
2008-02-15 10:39:37

And, by the way, the bible has some good advice: The last 5 of the 10 Commandments (which deal with how people should behave with people; not kill, steal, lie, commit adultery, covet), the Golden Rule (love your neighbor as yourself), and the one that advises relevant to this discussion — not to blame children for what may have been the sins of their fathers.

Not only did my ancestors not enslave or murder anyone, but also, I would be perfectly innocent even if they had. I have never enslaved or harmed others. I risked my life during the American civil rights movement to bring an end to racial segregation and to bring about equal voting rights.

 
Comment by Dan
2008-02-15 10:59:54

Heather, thank you for clearing that up.

I’m actually writing because I spotted this great news! —

Ed. Minister Vince Henderson expressed gratitude for 127 computers given to primary schools. A 14-seater bus was also given, under the USAID funded project. Source: DBS Radio

 
Comment by boldface dominican Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-15 13:22:05

Someone’s belief is their belief and whether you believe in it or not you should not take it upon yourself to tell someone different. I don’t believe in atheisism, but I won’t tell someone its wrong to believe that way. I think that you have a great influence on people opinion. You are a degreed professional, let people believe in what they want to believe. And yes most definitely many of the rules in the bible are good to use when one is living their own life. Governments make laws after many of the rules from the bible. Again I never said it was golden, But like everything else you take what you want to take from it. Let other people form their own opinions, even if its from as you said “from people who enslaved blacks like me.” I went to an all girls catholic school all my life and I loved it. There were prejudices, but I love the foundation I got, because it enables me to sit in American classes and weed out some of the ridiculous teachings that they give to people. I work hard at tests and do well because everything is multiple choice up here, which doesn’t encourage much thought. But I refer that to the great foundation I got from Catholic school and a Dominican school for that matter.

Comment by Dan
2010-04-01 11:48:53

Evangelists always to those who wish not to hear. They claim it is their duty and their right. One also has a perfect right to be evangelical about non-belief.

 
 
Comment by Dan
2008-02-15 13:35:44

I am very glad that you’ve gotten and made good use of a good education.

I am not trying to spread atheism, but only asserting the same right to speak about my atheism as believers and missionaries claim to spread their beliefs. I only challenge religious beliefs when they harm others, such as teaching children in school creation myths and when religious laws are used to persecute people (it doesn’t happen in Dominica, but in the Mideast girls are being mutilated, people are being stoned and/or lashed for “immodesty” and for “insulting religion”, etc).

In human history, humans are the only beings fully aware of their own mortality. Thus, in every culture, some religion came about to explain mortality away: eternal life, reincarnation, etc. With that came power to the shamans. Not wanting to lose power, the shamans suppress any knowledge that shows them to be wrong about any dogma.

And some people will believe anything — such as the writings of a science-fiction author or the rantings of a psychotic farmer. Moreover, most people can’t break free of their childhood indoctrination.

Comment by norm Subscribed to comments via email
2010-11-28 22:23:55

you stated:
And some people will believe anything — such as the writings of a science-fiction author or the rantings of a psychotic farmer. Moreover, most people can’t break free of their childhood indoctrination.
With your acceptance of Atheism are you not doing the same. The fact that you have repudiated your childhood doctrines is liberating for you and therefore you feel that good news must be shared–Atheist, atheism. In the subtext of your writting your belief stems from the past and current horrors of religion. That sir, does not make you an Atheist as Atheism doesn’t care or gives no concern of the horrors suffered at the hands of pseudo-religious people. You are angry at God and I hope you seek Him with all your heart as the Bible says come lets us reason.
Atheism holds that there is no God. The question you have to ask yourself is, “are you all-knowing?” To say that there is no God is to have comprehensive knowledge of the universe. So, in essence, as an Atheist, you’re saying that you have infinite kowledge while denying the fact there is an infinite being. That my friend is a condriction.
Science doesn’t nor can it prove God doesn’t exist. In fact it qualifies the existence of God. Science or it criterea is based on oberservation of the physical; it can only prove that which is physical, not the incorporial or the unseen.
norm.

 
 
Comment by boldface dominican Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-15 13:57:50

well i dispute a “good education” if its lie, cheat, steal or simply know how to work a multiple choice question, but its okay. Wasn’t sent here by choice, so I deal with it until its over. but i won’t comment further if thats your belief go on spread it all over Dominica. I believe that my people are smart and they make their own choices. But the problem is many Americans always complain about immigrants changing their society, this is ironic when everywhere Americans go they try to change other societies. As I said you are a degreed professional, if you want to teach atheisim go ahead, but why don’t you also teach all the skills that you know like engineering, physics, mathematics etc. With all due respect, blogging won’t help the cause. We need teachers in schools and especially in the college. I’m sure that they would appreciate someone with your skills at the College. Teach everything!

 
Comment by Dan
2008-02-15 15:32:59

Thank you. There is much we agree on. I have been teaching science voluntarily when I’m in Dominica, and plan to offer to do so for children and adults, voluntarily for free in science, math, and literacy help. I’ve brought a telescope to Dominica and have shown people the moon close-up, Mars, the moons of Jupiter, and the gas nebula in Orion so far; and I’ve explained day/night, the seasons, and the tides astronomically (to people who were actually taught in school that the stars were “diamonds placed in the sky by god”).

There is something else I’d like to comment on. I believe that racism is universal, but used by the rich and powerful to cover up what really matters to them: differences in wealth. It seems that way everywhere. And it is important to remember historical truths. For example, it was not only white people who made the trade in African slaves to the New World, but both white Christians, African Muslims, and African tribal chiefs. Sadly, tribal warfare is ongoing in Africa; one need only look at the Sudan/Darfur, Rwanda/Burundi, and Nigeria, Liberia (which while founded on an American model, failed badly), and Kenya.

It is greed that underlies racism; color is only a facade.

We should remember that human beings evolved in Africa and then populated the world, and that we have a common origin.

 
Comment by Miguel Marie 'Pun' Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-15 20:24:14

Laurelle’s assertion that the “glass ceiling” still looms over the head of the dominican woman is unequivocally absurd. Mamo, Doreen Paul, countless Permanent Secretaries, Medical professionals…dude. The fact is that quite the opposite is true. In dominica there are more women in more high paying jobs than there are men. It is not, I must say, due to some sort of matriarchal bias at work in dominican society eiher. The unfortunate fact is simply that the boys just don’t study. Tanners, I assure you, had your daughter grown up in Dominica, she would have suffered no hindrance derived from sexism. Word.

My piece.

Comment by Chris Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-16 17:53:28

Miguel Marie ‘Pun… I’ve edited your comment. Sorry, but Dominica-Weekly will not accept these types of comments. If it continues in future we will have no choice be to block you from making anymore comments.

Please keep all your comments practical and to the point.

Thank you!

 
 
Comment by Boldface Dominican Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-16 17:05:46

Okay Mr Marie,

What is it that I have said that is ridiculous.

The fact that Dominica is predominantly Christian and that people should be allowed to form their own decisions without the likes of atheists bringing down their faith? Why judge what people believe, thats their own thoughts.

I’m a she and no i won’t reveal my identity because you are the one not reading my views to Mr.Tanner. I was responing to the article it self because I agree with you 100 per cent. That women in Dominica have all the rights a woman can have and they will have even more rights if they study work hard and of course don’t associate themselves with men like yourself.

Comment by Chris Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-16 17:49:11

Boldface Dominican… I’ve edited your comment. Please keep all your comments practical and to the point.

Thank you!

 
 
Comment by Boldface Dominican Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-16 17:54:06

pratical okay chris, do you think that Miguel is practical? Mr Tanner and I commented back forth, we made our point, but there were no bashing. This wannabee rasta wants to come on here and call me an embarassment, for supporting the same thoughts he has expressed. This is not a fair forum and you may delete my entry or block me at anytime.

Comment by Chris Subscribed to comments via email
2008-02-16 18:11:09

Boldface Dominican… I told Miguel Marie ‘Pun’ the samething I told you. Please don’t get personal with your comments….ok:smile:

 
 
Comment by David Subscribed to comments via email
2008-05-18 13:55:34

Dan, please be aware that Dominican people are mostly god fearing people who have very much faith in God and biblical teachings. I have no doubt you are a good hearted person who wishes to contribute to society whether in America or in Dominica however you must realise that as an outsider and as an anglo you are a minority on the island. Further making public statements in reguards to biblical teachings from an atheistic point of view will not be well received here. I am also Jewish from birth yet I have faith in the source of biblical teachings in reguards to the Torah ( old testiment). You have made false statements in reguards to the Torah and in this reguard as a Jew you are not apparently well edjucated in biblical teachings. Perhaps if you were open to interpretation of the Bible you might learn from the people of Dominica and not just teach them. To teach science is good, yet to use science as a contradiction to biblical teachings is not the best use of your edjucation. I want you to know that by you stating that your Jewish along with admitting to being athiest does effect other Jews on the island, negatively, in fact I would guess most christians and Rastafarians might expect more from a Jew. Please stick to science since this is your edjucation. The fact is many Jews lack Biblical edjucation and lean torwards science as the ultimate truth to discard the bible, yet when challenged, to often they pull out the I am Jewish. The Jewish people, especially our ancestors were very faith based people and in acception to America and England we remain faithful to the teachings of Moses who whote the Torah (bible) after the exodus, during the forty years in the desert before the people settled the land of Israel. Are you suggesting that all the Jewish patriarchs, prophets, Rabbis and Moses himself were mere fools or symplistic minded primitives compared to your viewpoint? In the beginning was A’yin (eternal nothingness) then tzimtzum (something from nothing) call it the big boom! God then created light called it good and separated it from darkness thus light and dark energy. God created the heavens and the earth. This means the eternal heavens beyond human comprehention (eternal space) also the earth being the elements of matter that make all physicality throughout the entire universe. The Torah tells us of an emense creation beyond just our earth but all planets and stars that with the right measurement sustain life on a planet, in our case the earth. Science does not explain or disproove a creator of the universe nor does our grasp of science explain what the source of gravity is. Science is limited to the rational, humans are spiritual and rational/ intellectual.
We as Jews do not worship the intellect so as to disproove the creator of all existance. Your lack of faith has been apparently replaced by science. Perhaps you can purchase a Chumash and take time to read it in Dominica. The Chumash is the old testament with rabbinical commentary taken from the oral teachings of the Jewish people. Without the oral teachings ones take on the bible is at best very limited.
Perhaps we will come to know eachother in Dominica and have a pleasent exchange. Shalom to everyone!

 
Comment by Dan
2008-05-18 14:15:27

I had written that I am not trying to spread atheism, but only seek not to be harassed for being an atheist. I never said I believed in the Jewish faith, but only that I was born into it. I do not believe it or anything supernatural at all. What makes Christians right to have usurped the Kalingo religion? Most religion has taken root through the use of force. Christianity and Islam are the religions of the slave traders. No supernatural being created anything. How can you be so certain yours did, and not the Hindu one, or any of the ones from other religions. You are arrogant and narrow-minded. As an atheist I am open to the the conclusion that all religions are nonsense.

I enjoy religious festivals and music. I just don’t like it taught in place of science or in preference to atheism or other religions. Every religion teaches that all the others are wrong, so don’t go calling me intolerant.

 
Comment by David Subscribed to comments via email
2008-05-18 20:19:33

Oy Vey!
“harassed! ,”Don’t call you intollerant”, “Every religion teaches all others are wrong.” Not true, All religions teach that faith in nothing is wrong because without a sense of responsibility to others for the sake of God there is only service to the self with no accountability to others. also there is no nation or culture that ‘s foundation is based on atheism. first relax, take a deep breath and smile! Now lets consider your position. I do not disagree with every thing you have said in reguard to racism but you must truly put your guard down and consider your position rationally and polite like.
“as long as people respect one another I don’t care what they believe or that they understand that I have no belief in supernatural”
This might be exceptable talk if it were actually your true position. see next quote
“religion is nonsense and stifles inquiry and knowledge into anything that challenges it’s made up doctrines” this does not sound exactly tollerant or respectful to people of any faith. Where is your inquiry of the Torah? Certainly at your age and level of education one might have gone beyond a childs level of biblical knowledge with only a minimal effort. It is you who has refused to inquire of our peoples teachings and yet arrogantly proclaim all religion as the same and further claim all doctrine as nonsense.
“as an atheist I am open minded that all religion is nonsense” Are you open to the possibility that any one claiming to be atheist may be pure nonsense? If your open to that we may agree again on something.
“Those who believe in the bible absolutely have not read it”.
Are you saying all traditional or devout Jewish people are ignorrent of the Torah? Come now, these are not productive or intelligent statements nor respectful as you claim you are. Please listen and consider your position or lack there of.
The Torah teaches that at in very ancient times all people believed of the one god and that over time different peoples began to worship the one god through tangible parts or forces that make life possible here on earth such as the rain, sun, moon or earth. This is the root of paganism.
If you were familiar with the Torah you would further understand yourself better as a Jew. Your thoughts and feelings are not unwarrented nor unanswered by our sages writings revealed in the oral teachings. Infact you would find science backing up much in reguard to the Torah. During the passover sader that was just a couple weeks ago there is a portion in the Hagada where the four types of Jewish children are discussed. The wise child inquires of the teachings, another child does not know how to ask, a third doesn’t know enough to ask and the evil child wants nothing to do with any of it and as is said if he were a slave in egypt he never would have left. Incidently there were not only the ten commandments that Moses braught down from the mountain, there were 613. 6+1+3=10. Without the oral teachings that were passed down from Moses, there is no way you can understand what the Torah was and is. Understanding what it took for the Jewish people to accept Moses as the real deal is no different than an atheist coming to understanding the truth that man did not create himself nor are we just another animal. Mankind was given a law through the Jewish people. Lets review a few of the laws given through the Torah that are now universally accepted and did not exist before the giving of the Torah. Belief in the one God beyond human comprehention who has no image. Belief in no other god, in otherwords no more division of man through idolworship, no longer does any human have to use a mediary or shaman instead every human can prey directly to God. Do not murder, do not commit incest, do not steal, innocent before proven guilty( modern court system) womens right to refuse marriage to a man also right to refuse sexual relations, no sex with animals, no homosexual acts, no work or productive labor on the sabbath, kindness to strangers, kindness to animals (kosher laws) the mitsvot! In fact the Talmud is 14 books of law written from the oral teachings. I understand that you may feel that every human knows right from wrong at birth and that morality and humility have little to do with faith but I will dissagree. There is evil and there is good and through our actions we create this world into a hell or into a place of justice and compassion by our ability to differentiate between good and evil. It is a choice or emotion we as humans act through. for lack of knowledge there is no choice only emotion. People must be taught what is just and this very act is rooted in the faith that their is justice in this world if we will it. What I am challenging you to do is realise that even your own values are not divorced of this wisdom that came through the teachings that are infact rooted in what one might considder supernatural or phenominon. Do you honestly believe that anything less than a supernatural act could have shut the mouths of all those Jewish people at one time and scared them so badly that they have never forgotton to this day? Without supernatural acts the people never would have followed Moses into the desert from Egypt. Perhaps that is what it will take for a self labeled atheist to shut his mouth, open his heart and say, Who knew?

 
Comment by Dan
2008-05-19 10:00:36

David, you really need to get a life and not write these lengthy screeds. All you need do to see that I am right about all religions being intolerant is look at either history or what’s going on in the world today. As to the Torah, it teaches some good moral lessons (as I’ve written earlier, those 5 of the 10 commandments having to do with human behavior towards others are a good example), but the rest is silly mystical nonsense. That educated or intelligent people believed in the bible (such as Isaac Newton) means nothing; they did not have the tools of scientific investigation. In fact, the same type of men (like Galileo Galilei) precisely countered the religious orthodox teaching of the time — and were threatened with torture and nearly suppressed by the established church of the time. (Did you know that Galileo established the laws of pendulums while faking praying as penance?)

I never wrote that I know much about Judaism certainly not as much as you apparently do); I probably know more about Christianity. I was born to Jewish parents but they died when I was young and I was adopted and raised as a Christian. What I wrote is that I personally reject every and all religions.

Why should I have to shut up? Missionaries can blather all they want. They can come and tell people that their ancient beliefs are myths, and they do it backed by force of arms.

You have also called me “Anglo”. I don’t have a drop of Anglo-Saxon blood. We know little about each other, and having read what you wrote, I’d like to keep it that way. Just leave me alone with my belief (which you claim to “tolerate”). My belief is to not believe in anything not subject to rigorous test and proof or disproof.

 
Comment by Dominican 2 de bone Subscribed to comments via email
2008-05-19 10:01:34

Go on tell’em..lolol I think Mr. Tanner is a bit contradictory. Its either you want to tell people about your atheist views or you don’t. You seem to be doing a little bit of slippery sloping here. I think what many are trying to tell you is the same thing that you know yourself. You are very proud of your atheistic views and that quite alright, but you turn around and insult others belief in a God. Thats not very respectful I must say. Teachings of slave masters???? hmmm Well many of these people who held your jewish ancestors in gas camps were atheists. Nazi’s they were proud athiests, so is that where you get your views from, people who killed your ancestors by the thousands? I don’t mean offense here but it sounds very insulting doesn’t it? Because what you are actually saying is that Dominicans are so stupid we praise a God who was created by people who enslaved our ancestors, but you turn around and have no religion like the nazi’s who gased your ancestors.

I think you should refrain from making general statements about peoples belief. Whatever religion be it muslim , catholic, seventh day adventist I believe makes it capable to have laws that won’t allow someone to kill you when you walk the street, rob you blind of your life savings because its all encompassing.

you don’t have to encourage religion or go around saying i believe . Its okay not to believe!
But when you visit your friends house and they have their own beliefs i hope that you use your manners , be polite!

 
Comment by Dominican 2 de bone Subscribed to comments via email
2008-05-19 10:08:34

“All you need do to see that I am right about all religions being intolerant is look at either history or what’s going on in the world today.” mmmmmm? who made you right about relgion. faith or non faith??? Don’t sound so credible anymore.

 
Comment by David Subscribed to comments via email
2008-05-19 11:44:26

In the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee I wrote a response, I type fast, so thank you anyway for your concern with how I spend my time. Trust me I have a beautiful life, an amazing intelligent wife four wonderful healthy children and many projects from green building, art to agriculture. I do not respond to you mearly for your sake but instead for the clarification of others reading this blog. As for my response to your atheism stance I feel I have said all I need to say in order to further illuminate your position that continues to belittle anyone with any faith. Honestly if I had your backround I might be as bitter and closed minded myself to even remotely considering a faith based viewpoint.
Also in reguards to spending time on this blog, I see you spend much more time than I ever have here.
Further, I love to hear intelligent Dominican’s express themselves and tell it how it is. Dominican people may disagree on various topics yet I have not found an underlining anger or antagonism as is much more comminly expressed in America where people tend to keep their opinions to them selves in public possibly due to avoiding a possible violent or angry response. A sense of humor and an honest smile goes a long way in communication. Perhaps blogging is the only way many Americans can express themselves to others on topics such as religion, polotics….without having to restrain themselves for lack of humility or humor. Good day

 
Comment by cherish diversity Subscribed to comments via email
2008-05-19 22:13:06

Our coat of arms says it best ” Apres Bondye, c’est La Ter” “After God is the earth”. We have a special day for him, its called Sunday! Dominica is dead on Sunday, just like atheism is dead everyday….lololol….. let this man rant please. Another American who sounds just like his president. They know everything, Mr. Tanner basically said that “All you need do to see that I am right about all religions being intolerant is look at either history or what’s going on in the world today”. He is basically the go to guy for information on religion or should i say non religion. His right, let him be right. Why sense bit this old topic to a pulp.

P.s : Dominican women have liberties, we’ve had liberties before alot of other women around the world had. Dame Mary Eugenia Charles is a primary example. Dominican society don’t force anyone into one area. There isn’t much of a selection of jobs, but I know for a fact that we are liberated women. I am 26 and I feel especially blessed. If any woman decides to run for office here it’s not “tabu”, as it is in the United States : ex: Hilary Cinton . Whilst I on that point OBAMA FOR 2008! Yes we can, Yes we can!

Comment by Toni Subscribed to comments via email
2009-03-17 23:10:38

Hi Cherish, I am visiting Dominica next month (from Barbados) and I would really like to chat a little about the island-where to visit, stay etc. Please email me at tonijemmott23@gmail.com if you have some time, I would appreciate it very much. Thanks in advance and regards. Toni

 
 
Comment by Dan
2008-05-20 11:19:29

Thank you, thankyou “Dominican 2 de bone” who wrote: “It’s okay not to believe! But when you visit your friends house and they have their own beliefs i hope that you use your manners , be polite!”

The first is all that I have ever asked, and I always do the second. Please understand how annoying it is here in America to find people being “tolerant” with religions that scream “death to the infidels” while being hostile and intolerant to anyone who says he has no religion.

Look at our political process. Although our Constitution stated that there shall be no establishment of religion and there shall be no religious test to hold office, and our customs used to be that one’s beliefs are nobody else’s business, our candidates fall all over themselves being publicly sanctimonious. An atheist can’t get elected here. Unless he or she is quiet about it, like Thomas Jefferson (Tom Paine and Ben Franklin never ran for office). My worry has always been for what happens when religion and politics mix. Theocracy has always been deadly.

I am very fond of civil society and the good morals that Christianity and Judaism have imparted. I also like gospel music.

What I have acted against is religious myths being used to trample the advance of knowledge. This is a human-nature tendency that intrudes upon religion. That is because the hierarchy in religions (as in any system) wish to retain power, and knowledge (or its appearance) is power. Religion paints itself into a corner teaching myths as “facts” and then must use its power to squelch all challenges.

So, while I don’t want to deride another’s sincere beliefs, when someone challenges what I can know and demonstrate to be science or even mathematics, I’m inclined to debate.

Thank you again.

 
Comment by Dan
2008-05-20 12:26:01

The following was in today’s news:

News crew attacked during report at TiZA charter school

The state Education Department on Monday directed a Minnesota charter school to “correct” two areas related to religion at the school on Monday.

Tarik ibn Zayad Academy, which focuses on Middle Eastern culture and shares a mosque with the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, came under fire after a teacher alleged that the school was offering religious instruction in Islam to its students.

“The Minnesota Department of Education goes to great lengths to make clear to charter schools and their sponsors that, while schools should appropriately accomodate students’ religious beliefs, they must be ‘nonsectarian’ under the state’s charter school law,” said the state’s education Deputy Commissioner Chas Anderson.

The allegations first surfaced after an article by a columnist for the Star Tribune. The Education Department subsequently began a review of the suburban Inver Grove Heights school and released its findings Monday.

The agency said it was concerned about the school, with about 300 students, accommodating communal prayer and providing transportation to an after-school religious program.

“We have directed the school to take appropriate corrective actions regarding these matters and will continue to provide oversight to ensure that the school is in compliance with state and federal law,” Anderson said.

In an attempt to report about the new findings from the Department of Education, 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS went to TiZA. While on school grounds, our crew was attacked by school officials. The two men were able to grab our camera and kept it until police arrived.

Our photographer was treated by paramedics after suffering minor injuries.

 
Comment by inclaire Subscribed to comments via email
2008-06-16 19:16:03

I was born and raised in dominica, as a Roman catholic SeventhDay adventist, sir brooks penticostal the lot, and never did i see myself as limited in my horizons, but the employment opportunities were limited because of the size of the island. The island education gave me the background i needed to excell in the developed world. I had faith in God to survive amidse adversity. Dominican culture made me a proud black woman. Our christian faith had a lot to do with that, our openess and lack of guile. Religion is different from faith. Dominicans always had faith. Faith to overcome. We are not and were never slaves, we are freedom fighters. Enslaved but never slaves. Yes I think there are too many new religions coming on the island like muslins, fundamentalist christians, but people should be free to belief or disbelieve, that is their human right. We should respect everyone choices, that goes for the few homosexuals on the island they should be respected also. Away with ignorance based on man-made religion, for all religion is man-mad. God does not have a religion. He has people whom he created and love. We are all one. Let us start respecting.

 
Comment by Dan
2008-06-17 09:40:59

Inclaire, your response is in my opinion just marvelous. I agree with it all even though I personally don’t believe in a supernatural being.

 
Comment by SDV Subscribed to comments via email
2008-09-16 16:56:00

Wow – all this drama!

As one who was educated in DA very briefly, I did not receive a better education in England from which I came!

I will say that the standard of education was excellent then – 30 years ago and leaves much to be desired now. Girls, young women then had very fine examples of what women could accomplish via Ma. Charles – even is we didn’t agree politically.

But instead of us dramatizing one poor man’s view, it is possible for us to come together in any kind of unity to do something in the name of progress for our younger folks – the children.

In this day and age, it is shamefull that preschool education is not given more emphasis.

It is embarassing that pre teen girls think it glamorous and commendable to ‘flirt’ with a bus driver to get a free ride to school because there isn’t a system in place to subsidize or offer free transportation to children to go to school!

Those of us who spend hundred of hours of our time – voluntarily – let alone financially to improve DA need help too.

There are many, many Dominican who don’t understand that it costs as little as $150 US to send a child to preschool for ONE YEAR?

So, excuse my typos – if any. It’s time for Dominicans abroad to step up and do more for those left behind and not in a position to help themselves.

If we cannot do that then the cycle will not be broken – there will always be horrendous poverty in our country and not enough emphasis education.

It really does take a village to raise a child – what village did you leave behind?

Thank you

 
Comment by claire
2008-11-21 06:55:40

Dan do u believe in Dan. Because if u believe in Dan then u believe in God because that is whom God is We all are gods. Put us together and you get God, tear us apart and you get the devil and evil.Much respect my brother in Christ.

 
Comment by Cesare Bonventre
2010-03-31 20:36:58

In this day & age of international internet service communication technology, we can put together one of the worlds best education programs in Dominica!

The assets are available now online free!

All that is needed is some organization

 
Comment by elizabeth xavier Subscribed to comments via email
2010-04-04 03:24:06

I am so glad that I am able to follow a comment that was recently written. So I am optimistic that a few people out there are still following this blog. The reason I was concerned is because these back to back comments started since 2008, at which time I was absent from internet involvement.

But I am here now, and I do have something to say on behalf my Dominica, my education there, my right as a woman, and most of all, my belief in God and the competency of the Holy Bible.

I left Dominica in 1974; but I worked as a teacher there, for six years (1968-1974). In 1985, after I had my son, I had to go back to school, since Canada would not accept my education background in Dominica as equivalent to its own, when it comes to finding a good job. I assure you that Canada’s education contributed nothing to my personal level of insight and intelligence, which I had already begin to develop through, when I left Dominica. That is the reason today, I do not believe that a person’s ability of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, has anything to do with his or her Phd., BA, or whatever else there is in terms of degrees, honoraries, or medals of schooling. I will come back to that later on.

As far as my rights as a woman, it is impossible for me to accept that education in Dominica has affected that right. My mother is a very strong willed woman, who never called on my father more than once to do something around the house, simply because she believed it was his job. One call for help and if my dad did not respond at her time, she would do the job herself. I am a single woman today, with no intentions of getting married, especially at this point of my Life, and I am just like my mother. But during the time that I was in Dominica, women were still at the foot of the struggle to perform their strength, insight, intelligence, or authority all over the world.

But as for Dominica, with us having Eugenia Charles, our Prime Minister, better known as the Iron Lady of The Caribbean, to the world, how can our education be responsible for those women who continue to maintain a lagging mind in this age and time?

Now, as I read through the comments of those who are for and against God and the Holy Bible,
I noticed that everyone has been building their arguments on the basis of religion. Well most of you will find it strange (because you have not yet received the message of Jesus Christ) that I declare myself to be an extremely strong Christian, a strength that is based on the foundation of a Relationship of Love, with God, by faith in Jesus Christ.

People of Dominica, I know that you are a God fearing-people, and as a Dominican, this is one of the Truths that makes me feel proud of my Country and its people. Our country is blessed with all sorts of natural beauty. Dominica stands tall, with Her creator roaming atop Her mountains watching over us, Her people. It is time for you and me to realize that God wants us in a steadfast relationship with Him, in Spirit and in Truth. This inspiration in me, is the reason I no longer have the desire to live in Toronto, Canada. And I am sure that God is willing me to return home to continue to live the Life of Love by faith in Him, with you, my people and His people. I intend to follow this Will within the next few years.

It is time for us to stop the trash about religion. Religion is a people or human mind thing; God is about Christianity–a State of relationship of Love in Him–by perfect faith, trust, humility, and obedience to Him, through His Son, Jesus Christ. Our setback results from the fact that we have failed to focus Spiritually, on God and His Word in Jesus Christ.

Some of you have been quite faithful in defending God, but you have fed coals to the fire, in your oponent Dan, causing him to whip you off through his response of human wisdom and philosopy. No wonder he has the authority to say that most people who say they believe in God and the Bible has no idea what they are talking about. He is right about that. But I have to disappoint Dan by telling him that his being right, about the ignorant, does nothing to affect the Spiritual strength, wisdom, understanding, and knowledge of those who know God and the Holy Bible. And yet, knowlege of God and the Holy Bible is indeed, the source of Life itself. Also, our God is ready and willing to show mercy and compassion to those who are humble, in their nature of ignorance. That is the reason for Salvation in Jesus Christ, who tells us I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I am the Bread of Life. I am the Vine of Life.

At this point I would like to inform Dan, that at Genesis One, when God said “Let there be Light” He was not talking about the sun, moon, and stars. The Supreme nature of God is Love, and by His command of the Word, He caused His own nature to reproduce Spiritual Life, the Light of men. This is Light is in Jesus Christ, that we receive by faith. John 1: 4 Adam was blessed with this state of Life, but his disobedience to God defiled it, causing him to bring us into this world in a state of darkness, and a human or carnal mind, which is blind and deaf, with no comprehension of the Truth, Holiness, and Love, of Eternal Spirit, God Almighty. No level of eduacation or human strength and skill can reverse that state of darkness in us. For God has said that He will use foolish things to bring down those who think they are wise and famous.

That is the reason Jesus said to Nicodemus, a Leader of the Jews, a great teacher of the Law of Moses: You must be born again! But Nicodemus had no understanding of what Jesus said to him. For with all his greatness and knowledge of the Law of Moses, he existed with the control of his human mind. Read John chapter 3 Neither does the vast majority of us, who think that we are the perfect believer in God. The reason is because we continue to focus on religion, the man-made rules and laws, which has stolen from the Precious Word of God to blend it with their religious trash which is known as the “golden rule”.

I will tell you a thing about the so-called “golden rule”. Job was a man who followed them. Even God, Himself, confirmed that Job was upright and blameless. But at the same time God allowed Satan to buffet Job, bringing him down from the greatest of men into a pile of rags covering flesh and bones of vermin.

“Golden rules” you say? Job was upright and blameless, but rotten to the core through the nature known as self-righteousness. The nature of rebuke and chastening that he received through Satan, at the allowance of God, was the best way that God could save Job’s life.

People of Dominica, I assure you that I love God with all my heart, my mind, and my soul. And that is why I would like you to believe that His Word, in Jesus Christ through faith, and by the message of the Holy Bible is of Spirit and Truth. Jesus tells us at John chapter 6, that they are Life–the strength of Spiritual Light–of the soul who has been born again, awakened by the Power of the Holy Spirit. This can only happen to you by faith, trust, humility, and obedience to God, through Jesus Christ. For by maintaining those characters and virtues in your Life, you practice to maintain a personal relationship with God and fellowship with God’s people, who is the church. This practice is way different from religious rules and laws.

Golden rules is the thing of human beings, better known as religion. It is not of Almighty God. For most of those golden rules advocate, promote, or demonstrate human strength. And human strength does not glorify God.

 
Comment by Dan
2010-04-04 09:01:12

God is about Jesus? What would a Buddhist say? A muslim? A scientologist? A Jew? How about any of the religions that still exist in Africa. You write only from the perspective of the fairy tales you were told as a child.

 
Comment by Dan
2010-04-04 12:17:23

I’ll tell you what. Instead of fretting about me, worry about the muslims, who believe that you and I and all other non-muslims, and even muslims of different sects, must either adopt their beliefs or be killed.

In contrast, all I do is try to convince others to see things the way I do.

You and I can co-exist. My wife of over 37 years is a Christian…

 
Comment by elizabeth xavier Subscribed to comments via email
2010-04-04 19:17:55

Dan, you seem to have missed the fact that I do not stand for religion. You ask me what about Muslims, Budhist, Jews, religions of Africa, and all of those with special trades and skills? I tell you that their rules, laws, teachings, and or doctrines are all founded on religion, better known as human wisdom and phylosophy. They all exist with the sole control of their senses, which influence their minds to satisfy their human ego. But the human ego is gradually passing away.

You are so wrong about saying that my beliefs are founded from childhood fairytale. As a matter of fact you have revealed to me, the uncertainty of your own beliefs by what you suggested about me. For you have showed me that your ideas and arguments are based on assumptions, not facts, to the fullest measure. I was born and raised in the Catholic Church. I was taught to believe that my faith was based on religion, just as most of the people of Dominica who have based part of their argument to this blog on the grounds of religion.

By the teachings and guidance of God’s Holy Spirit, and through my study of the Holy Bible I learned to dismiss all of the vain teachings of the Catholic Church, which focussed on religious matters. Today, I am the only member of my imediate family, including the vast number of relatives, who has been baptized as an adult. For I understand that a baby is unable to choose baptism, a Christian ordination which has to be a personal choice.

I do not think of myself as member of any particular denomination of the churches, even if I attend Church. For I understand that denomination is the reason for the religious ideas, that most of those who call themselves Christians condone to. I could go on and on about the things I was taught in the Catholic Church, which I have dismissed, from my understanding and knowledge of God, more than twentyfive years ago. So I most definetly am not speaking to you about childhood fables.

I am not sure what it is in my comment that made you believe I am fretting about you, or either would I fret about any other sect or religious group for that matter. I believe that you are free to maintain, express, or demonstrate, what you believe and understand. I am also free to ignore you if I do not believe and understand you ideas.

I responded to this blog because my concern is towards my fellow Dominicans, whom I believe are God fearing people, but have been brainwashed by the principles of religion. For that reason they demonstrated weakness in response to your personal beliefs against their own.

The fact that I do not care one thing about religion, is because I became alive in Jesus Christ by faith, not by doing good works–the functions of the golden rule of religious teachings. Today I am a Christian filled with the Love of Eternal Spirit, God Almighty, whom Jesus has told us is not the God of the dead, but the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. You may or may not understand that concept; it does not matter to me. I just know that I would not have been able to speak of myself that way, if I had stayed with my Catholic principles, which advocates religious ideas.

Away with what the muslims believe. They practice Mohammed’s teachings, who never declared himself to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Again, I am saying that, that practice is a thing of the human mind, a mind which can only nuture and reproduce vanity. They will only kill those who allow themsleves to accepts their threats of vanity.

Yes, I am sure that I can coexist with you, since you are a human being just like me; but this can only happen in this life. For in the next Life I will be a person with a completely renewed mind, existing in the State of Love, the Life of Light in Spirit and in Truth; unless of course, you believe the same thing about yourself. Jesus has also taught me to maintain peace with everyone, here on eath even my enemies; if at all I have one of those. For God will silence the enemy and the avenger Psalm 8: verse 2

And one more thing, it seem to me that you are not such a bad atheist, unless your wife is a Christian, like most of us Christians, who have simply adopted the title. Still for all, knowing myself, if I agree that you can coexist with me in this life, it is possible that you are not a bad atheist. But do not expect those who believe in God to embrace whatever it is that you believe.

 
Comment by Dan
2010-04-04 19:36:30

Thanks, Elizabeth.

 
Comment by elizabeth xavier Subscribed to comments via email
2010-04-04 20:05:40

Dan, you are very welcome. Now that is evidence that we can coexist with peace, regardless of the nature of our beliefs.

Enjoy every day of the rest of your life, here on this earth.

 
Comment by James derousseau Subscribed to comments via email
2011-07-12 12:50:32

The bible state God is a god of the seed of god, it also state God repented he passed on the seed of god of the devil who raped Eve to make a god. it also state God had no faith in the LORD who brought him up to do good, it also state all mankind from the seed of god is born in sin.it also state if you are not a sprit of Christ you are not his or of the seed of creation, italso state the earth was void of gods of the devils.it also state what is flesh is flesh and what is sprit is sprit of the seed of its nature.Christians eat a piece of biscuit and say its the body of CHRIST,THey pray holy MARY mother of GOD pray for the sinner who passed on the seed of god to make us sinners up to this day multitudes worship God who made no sprit from his seed perfect to go to heaven. Because God of god made no one perfect.The new tesament give every god with the new name mankind with the sprit of god a choice to deside their fate to rest in peace after they depart from the kingdom, or join the devils and godly sprits without flesh of the LORD.every kingdom on earth is of the flesh of CHRIST and ZION.Their body was the Sacrifice to death. every sprit from the seed of god of the devil must prepare their body for SALVATION and they must have faith in the LORD Elijah to save them form the fire in the SUN.Dont wait when until you have no flesh to belive.their is no excuse for ignorance of this choice made available to sprits of gods after death even if you are a pastor, bishop,witch doctor lesbian ,homosexual or do gooder you dont have faith in the LORD ELIJAH with the WORD,he will send you to GOD who you worship to save you from the devils in the everlasting fire in the SUN.The bible state the LORD ELIJAH is the first son OF CHRIST in salvation with the WORD the only SAVIOUR YOU can TRUST and no other.CHRIST say vengence is HIS for rape and spillining his blood on earth.No FAITH NO PEACE for sprits of gods,CHRIST is only interested in KINGDOMS from his flesh for CREATING immortal SPRITS to live on earth in his flesh to be as it was in the begining with no god of the devils.so prepare your body for salvation.or continue to worship God of god and hope he can save you from the devis for ever.

 
Comment by James derousseau Subscribed to comments via email
2011-07-12 14:14:02

Jesus is the first Son of CHRIST with Zion from the seed of creation, Elijah is the First Son of CHRIST by the word in salvation with the WORD.THE TRINITY is THE ETERNAL with the WORD who Created HIS CHRIST with the WORD who reated HIS ELIJAH with the WORD to remove the devils from the earth and gods from their seed.ELIJAH resurected CHRIST to the throne in heaven and all immortal sprits of creation to be among angels in the LIGHT.Jesus told God and his godly sprits in the body of mankind I WAS IN THE WORLD BEFORE YOU WERE BORN and the wickedness of god your father you will do.I returned to earth to tell the sprits from your seed the truth and what you did and the way to life is SALVATION of KINGDOMS prepared for Elijah to direct to My FATHER CHRIST ON the throne in heaven to create Holy SPRITS with everlasting Life acceptable to the ETERNAL HOLY SPRIT THROUGh LORD ELIJAH with the WORD.JESUS has no reason to return he is not a CREATOR but CHRIST HIS FATHER on the THRONE in heaven.CHRISTIANS take note IF GOD of god was born on earth how could he create the world,and why its not him on the Throne in heaven,has God answered you prayers,what has he done for you,Religion cant save sprits of gods because they are not CHRIST but change their name to Christians,Muslems,Jews,Hindews ect and worship in buildings callled churches made by human hands while living in Kingdoms from the flesh of CHRIST.God did not want mankind to know the CHOICE for peace and want all to fall like him for haveing no FAITH IN LORD ELIJAH who brought him up and taught him scriptures.Be wise before its to late an do as Jesus said close your Door and communicate with the only SAVIOUR LORD ELIJAH. CHRIST dont lison to sprits from the seed of gods every thing is the hand of the LORD for your peace,have FAITH if you want your Kingdom to be created with a Holy SPRIT in the LIGHT by CHRIST to continue on earth in perfection. sorry you cant be born again,but your Kingdom can be created through Lord ElIJAH and CHRIST according to the NEW TESTAMENT by the WORD to be as it was in the begining with CHRIST and ZION in their humanity.called Adam and EVE created by the ETERNAL HOLY SPRIT WITH THE WORD.The devil is the sinner and rapist.IF you want to know more about GOD OF god and the devils Read THE BATTLE IN THE KINGDOM out in December and place your order with Melrose BOOkS on the internet also on amazon.

 
Comment by Linda Subscribed to comments via email
2012-12-31 23:06:24

My people have been in the Caribean since Columbus’s time. Read Jewish Pirates of the C. They were not perfect and people who are constantly persecuted by all countries can be mistrustful and self preserving. If they lived in the islands and in the southern states and owned plantations they they also owned “servants” That was the way of the world. But in this less than perfect world that has evolved there are good and bad and inbetween. The genocide of the 1930s and 40s was to rid the world of jews, gypsies, mixed races, handicapped etc. To make a pure world of superior beings. The United States Canada and most other countries refused these people entry into their countries. China and Dominica were exceptions. I have tried to find family who stayed in the Ukraine after 1923 but they are completely off any records. In the town of Zlatopol the Nazis shot anyone left in 1941 and dumped them into a pit. Headstones from the Jewish cemetaries were used as road pavers. Oh why am I writing, well the term Old testament is a Christian term. my bible is my bible it is not replaced by the New Testament and in fact the old Testament is different in some contexts than the Torah. Peace be with you, Happy New Year, let love and kindess be your guide. Linda

 
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